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Plum Plum Pickers chapter 10 explication

Plum Plum Pickers chapter 10 explication

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Joshua JeromeRyan GallagherAdvanced Placement Literature16 November 2010
Plum Plum Pickers
, chapter 10 section 7Through the story of Manuel Gutierrez’s struggles, and his defiance towards Roberto Moraleswhen finally pushed to the limit,
The Plum Plum Pickers
develops into a story that speaks volumes aboutthe human condition and the flaws that surround the human race. Barrio accentuates the reality thathuman beings are willing to hold back their counterparts as a result of greed, and hatred for one another,and yet the desire to live life to the fullest potential allows those suppressed individuals to find strength,and rise above the injustices that plague them. In passage seven from
The
 
Plum PlumPickers
, RaymondBarrio experiments with the idea that the human will cannot, and will not be subjugated despite thehardships that humans pass upon one another, ultimately establishing his point that the flaws within thevery fabrics of human nature can be conquered by the more positive aspects of it. Through references towild beasts and the struggle that Barrio depicts between the different forces of nature, the readerunderstands that the external hardships that he presents are indicative of the psychological strugglebetween the negative and positive aspects of humanity ways.The passage opens with Barrio depicting a trapped Manuel Gutierrez, as a result of his inability tosurmount the difficulties regarding his current situation. The futility of Manuel’s situation is emphasizedas it is revealed to the reader “no matter which way he turned, he was trapped in an endless maze” (Barrio91). Barrio, suggests that like a maze that one cannot escape; like Manuel human beings also cannotescape their current situation, both physically and psychologically, and at times it becomes very confusingbecause progress constantly comes to a standstill. Barrio goes on to depict the “neatly planted row” of apricot trees, as “the blackest bars on the jails of hell” (Barrio 91). Once again, the reader is able to get anidea of the inhibited sentiments that are plaguing Manuel, in addition to the idea that fruit trees in harvest,which are synonymous with the maintenance of life, are being described as a holding place in hell: one of the final resting places for the tormented sole. When this is looked at in context of Barrio commenting onthe ever conflicting aspects of human nature, it becomes clear that many times in the struggle between thetwo, it becomes unclear which is which, and yet the struggle continues.Barrio goes on to introduce the resolve that Manuel has in order to survive, which serves toreveal a transformation taking place within him. This is illustrated when Manuel realizes that “there hadto be an end” to the madness that was his enslavement “there had to be” (91). Gradually, the innerstruggle to dismiss the oppressive forces that are consuming Manuel become more apparent, as he stood“there-trapped”, he realized that “there must be a way out”(91). For the first time, the reader sees Manueldevising decisive conclusions about his future, and acknowledging the fact that he wanted to leave hiscurrent situation. However, that resolve is challenged by the apparent hopelessness of the situation, andManuel’s human desire to give up:“Locked. There had to be a respite. Animal. The buckets and the crateskept piling up higher. Brute”(91). Through these short and interrupting clauses, Barrio takes the readerback and forth with the thoughts of Manuel, and how he was feeling. At that particular point and time,Barrio wants for the reader to witness first hand the internal conflict that takes place within human beingsthat are placed in a tough situation, and are trying to overcome even as the problems seemed to begrowing. The struggle continues as Barrio depicts how Manuel “felt alone” even amongst other pickers(91). From there, Barrio goes on to describe all of Manuel’s actions as “brute”. At this point, the physicalrequirements are so taxing on both Manuel’s body and psyche, that he is reduced to “a truly refined wreck of an animal”(92). This was not what Manuel wanted for himself, yet the selfish ambitions of those who
 
Joshua JeromeRyan GallagherAdvanced Placement Literature16 November 2010employed him, and the injustice that he is treated with have led him to become this. Barrio utilizes thisexample to reveal the effects that such negative behavior and practices towards fellow human beingsaccomplish: in treating one another inhumanely, they are essentially being stripped of those very qualitiesthat make them human.Moreover, Barrio goes back reestablishes Manuel’s humanity, as the section comes to a close inorder to accentuate the change that has taken place within him. For a time, Manuel is able to take a “shortrest in the hot shade” which serve to revitalize him temporarily (92). However, this respite was only theeye of the storm, as Manuel had much more to endure before his ordeals were ended permanently. Heawakes to the sight of “the trees. The branches again. The briarly branches. The scratching leaves….”(92) From this listing, it is clear that Barrio is presenting the world from the eyes of a very disoriented anddisheveled Manuel, which continues up until “his mind whirred” and “he blacked out” (92). By allowingthe readers to see the world from this vantage point, Barrio also reiterates his point through the setting:the many pressures from the negative aspects of human nature are overwhelming, yet the strugglebetween both aspects of human nature continues to ensue.As nightfall approaches, and the workload dwindles to an end, Manuel has completely changed,and no longer will he stand idol as injustice occurs. Barrio describes how everything finally came to astandstill: “Sandy dreams, Cool nights. Cold drinks. Soft guitar music…” and “the days work was at lastended” (92). It is clear that through all of his ordeals, Barrio was depicting Manuel going through a sort of metamorphosis: evolving into a person who was no longer afraid to stand up for what he believed in, andknew was correct. Many a times throughout the passage he could have given up, yet as a result if hisprevailing insistence on living, and overcoming, Manuel was not only able to make it through the work day, but in the end he was finally able to stand up to Robert Morales, and put an end (even if it’s onlytemporary) to the injustice and mistreatment of the other lowly workers like himself.

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